Cricket Australia panned over 'huge fail' in $6 million BBL draft

·Sports Editor
·6-min read
Faf du Plessis and Andre Russell, pictured here in the BBL.
Faf du Plessis and Andre Russell were two of the 'platinum players' snubbed in the BBL draft. Image: Getty

Cricket Australia's $6 million gamble on the new overseas player draft for the BBL has seemingly backfired after a host of 'platinum players' didn't get selected by the clubs on Sunday night.

Faf du Plessis, Jason Roy, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo were all ignored in the inaugural BBL draft due to their unavailability for the back end of the season.

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Cricket Australia's hopes that the biggest names in the world would be snapped up weren't realised, with BBL clubs prioritising players who will still be available for the finals.

The hope was that Du Plessis and co would bring flagging crowds flocking back to the BBL, but the South African star will be playing in a new T20 league in his home country during the BBL finals.

The likes of Roy, Pollard, Russell and Bravo would also only be available for three-quarters of the BBL after opting to play in a new T20 competition in the UAE this summer.

"Well you're looking for continuity through the season," former Test captain and Hobart's head of strategy Ricky Ponting said when asked about the tactics involved in selecting players.

"The challenge the BBL teams have faced the last few years has been the international players coming in and out.

"You get two or three games out of one, and then you have to try to fill that slot with someone of a similar role and ability, and that's pretty hard to do.

"And if these players are coming in and out, you've got to have money to fill their voids as well. When you're trying to balance the salary cap, it's not easy to do."

BBL teams prioritise availability over superstars

England's Liam Livingstone became the No.1 Platinum pick after being chosen by the Melbourne Renegades.

"It was a no-brainer for us," captain Aaron Finch said.

"What he offers with the bat is exceptional. And what he delivers in the field and with the ball, being able to bowl legspin and offspin, I think he's a beautiful fit for the Renegades."

The Melbourne Stars used their prized second pick to nominate Rashid Khan, but the Adelaide Strikers exercised their retention pick to keep the star Afghanistan spinner.

"I was thinking of Darryl Kerrigan, 'tell him he's dreaming'," Strikers coach Jason Gillespie joked in reference to the famous 1997 Australian movie The Castle.

"Our plan was always to retain Rashid. Wonderful player, wonderful person. He's been brilliant for our franchise over a number of years, and absolutely delighted to have him back."

Rashid Khan, pictured here in action for the Adelaide Strikers in the BBL.
Rashid Khan in action for the Adelaide Strikers in the BBL. (Photo by Chris Hyde - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

The Stars instead selected New Zealand paceman Trent Boult, while the Brisbane Heat used pick No.3 to lure Englishman Sam Billings after the Sydney Thunder decided against using their retention pick.

Sydney Sixers coach Greg Shipperd selected Chris Jordan at pick No.4

"He's cool, calm and collected in the big moments," Shipperd told Fox Sports.

"We're chasing high-end pace and a death bowler, so he fitted the bill perfectly for us."

The Perth Scorchers pulled off a big shock when they passed on their No.6 pick in the Platinum round.

The Scorchers eventually used their retention pick to keep Laurie Evans in the second round, while they snared Phil Salt in the third round and left-arm paceman Tymal Mills in the fourth round.

"Availability is a real key for us," Adam Voges said of the decision to pass on the Platinum round.

"We love guys coming back who have played for us before, and fit into our group really well."

Each player selected in the platinum category earns $340,000, while players picked up in the gold ($260,000), silver ($175,000) and bronze ($100,000) rounds also earn handy paydays.

Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley, pictured here speaking to the media at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley speaks to the media at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

PLATINUM ROUND PICKS

1 - Melbourne Renegades - Liam Livingstone (England)

2 - Melbourne Stars - Trent Boult (New Zealand)

3 - Brisbane Heat - Sam Billings (England)

4 - Sydney Sixers - Chris Jordan (England)

5 - Adelaide Strikers - Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) retention pick

6 - Perth Scorchers - Passed

7 - Sydney Thunder - David Willey (England)

8 - Hobart Hurricanes - Shadab Khan (Pakistan)

ROUND 2 (PLATINUM and GOLD)

9 - Melbourne Renegades - Mujeeb Ur Rahman

10 - Melbourne Stars - Joe Clarke

11 - Brisbane Heat - Colin Munro

12 - Perth Scorchers - Laurie Evans (retention pick)

13 - Sydney Sixers — James Vince

14 - Adelaide Strikers - Colin de Grandhomme

15 - Sydney Thunder - Alex Hales

16 - Hobart Hurricanes - Asif Ali

ROUND 3 (GOLD and SILVER)

17 - Hobart Hurricanes - Faheem Ashraf

18 - Sydney Thunder - Rilee Rossouw

19 - Perth Scorchers - Phil Salt

20 - Adelaide Strikers - Adam Hose

21 - Sydney Sixers - Pass

22 - Brisbane Heat - Pass

23 - Melbourne Stars - Luke Wood

24 - Melbourne Renegades - Pass

ROUND 4 (SILVER AND BRONZE)

25 - Melbourne Renegades - Akeal Hosein

26 - Melbourne Stars - Pass

27 - Brisbane Heat - Ross Whiteley

28 - Sydney Sixers - Izharulhaq Naveed

29 - Adelaide Strikers - Pass

30 - Perth Scorchers - Tymal Mills

31 - Sydney Thunder - Pass

32 - Hobart Hurricanes - Pass

with AAP

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